Waste Land (2010)
Valter: [talking about the importance of recycling] People sometimes say "But one single can?" One single can is of great importance. Because 99 is not 100, and that single one will make the difference.
Vik Muniz: I'd rather want everything and have nothing, than have everything and want nothing. Because at least when you want something your life has a meaning: it's worthwhile. From the moment you think you have everything, you have to search for meaning in other things. I spent half my life wanting everything and having nothing; and now I have everything and I don't want anything.
Vik Muniz: These days I'm starting to see things in a simpler way; I don't have as much material ambition as I used to. When I was poor I only wanted material things: I just wanted to have things. I had to buy a lot of crap to get rid of that complex.
Vik Muniz: These are probably the roughest people you can think of. They're all drug addicts. It's like the end of the line. Check out the geography of this thing. It's like the end of the line. It's where everything not good goes, including the people.
Vik Muniz: [introducing his grandmother, who raised him, in English] She's the most important woman in my life. She's 93 years old.
Vik's Grandmother: [looks at him sharply] Hmm?
Vik Muniz: [in Portuguese] I told them you were 70 years old.
Vik's Grandmother: [in Portuguese] That's right.
Zumbi: We have to think about the future because I don't want my son to be a picker. Although if he is, I'd be very proud... But I'd rather he be a lawyer to represent the pickers, you know.
Crowd: The pickers united will never be defeated.
Vik Muniz: I'm the Brazilian artist who is the most - I hate to say this-but who sells and is the most popular overseas.
Activist: Congratulations, man!
Vik Muniz: I grew up very poor, but now I've reached a point where I want to give back.
Female garbage picker: It's better than during the day, there are less people. It's better than being out there, like a lot of people, prostituting yourself. We are working honestly.
[after Tiao's portrait sells for $50,000 at Sotheby's]
Vik Muniz: The most important thing is what you're going to do with this.
Tiao: [in tears] It was all worth it. Everything I did up until now was really worth it.
Vik Muniz: Why do you think you are here?
Tiao: Because once a friend and I had a dream of creating an association. We created the association. It was a crazy dream. Nobody believed in us. Not even my family. Nobody believed in me.
Vik Muniz: This is only the beginning, Tiao. This is only the beginning.
Tiao: I am so happy. God was so good to me, so wonderful.
Vik Muniz: [hugging him] You're the strong one. You're the one who is doing everything.
TV Host: Can you tell us how you came to use materials from the garbage?
Fabio: It's like a garbage land.